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REVIEW: Gotham 2×18 “Wrath of the Villains: Pinewood”

As is often the case, Gotham tried and failed to make the mystery behind the deaths of the Waynes interesting. It’s been almost a full two seasons of viewers being forced to watch every broody character on this show be linked back to the case first introduced in the pilot and, unfortunately, it seems as though the plotline will continue to be a primary focus in the remainder of the season, and likely the series. While, “Pinewood,” did reveal a healthy bit of information, the fact that it all had to do with the same story that Gotham has been circling around since its premiere left me once again wondering how and when (if ever) the, “Wrath of the Villains,” in 2B’s title sequence will actually come into play.

Spoilers ahead!

With Jim’s previous arrest and murder charge wrapped up in a bow far too neat for Gotham, the show once more made the mistake of putting the central focus on the mystery behind the deaths of the Waynes. Attacking the case from two different angles, with Bruce and Alfred chasing leads left on the late Mr. Wayne’s computer and Jim running around Gotham beating up every hit-man and woman he can find, brings forth a slew of new information and connections.

As it turns out, the mysterious woman who Bruce suspects his father had been meeting with prior to his death is the very, “experiment,” that Dr. Strange has been seeking in the B plot of, “Pinewood.” The episode’s title is bludgeoned into our brains as we learn that Pinewood Farms is where Karen Jennings, the mystery woman in the woods, was experimented on and transformed into a human with a reptilian claw for a hand. The mysterious farm was initially formed through Thomas Wayne’s desire to help regenerate limbs for those who had physical defects. Unfortunately, as is always the case with well-meaning experimentations, someone decided to change things up a bit and deal with different forms of regrowth.

Naturally, after learning all this, Bruce decides that the next stop is the now-abandoned Pinewood Farms. Unfortunately, seeing as it’s technically private property, the gang gets arrested and thrown in jail.

While all of this is going down, a surprise team-up between Barbara and Jim leads the former cop to, “The Lady,” who informs the two that, though she did take the hit on the Waynes, she doesn’t know anything about the man who ordered it other than the fact that he goes by the name, “The Philosopher.”

I can’t imagine who it could be.

Kidding. It’s obviously Dr. Strange.

“Pinewood,” was another episode of Gotham that had a fair amount of potential but ultimately fell flat. On one hand, kudos to the show for creating a plot and sticking to it, on the other hand… did it have to be the Wayne murders? This is something that I realize is pivotal to the Bruce Wayne/Batman backstory but there are so many other directions the show could go in that it seems illogical to put so much focus on something that we’ve seen in literally ever film/television take on the Caped Crusader.

At the very least it could be a subplot of the show.

Pulling Strange into the mix seems as though it could potentially spice things up a bit but, as of yet, he’s just some guy who speaks in riddles that don’t make sense to anyone just yet.

We’ll see how his involvement with Pinewood and Mr. Wayne affects the show going forward.

Episode Grade: C+

Episode Highs:

  • I actually enjoyed Barbara’s return. Though no longer technically insane, she’s still kinda insane and it was fun to see her actually make things a bit more interesting this week.
  • “I think you need to grab a few items from the whammy drawer.”

Episode Lows:

  • Dear lord I am so bored with everything that pertains to the Wayne murders.
  • I wish Barbara would realize that at no point in her life did she ever need Jim. She’s so desperate for him to forgive her and his refusal to do so just reaffirms what a hypocrite he’s grown to be over the course of the series. Their body counts are probably pretty neck-and-neck at this point, in fact, Jim is likely more villainous than Barbara and yet he still feels as though he’s better than his former flame.
  • Why was Victor Fries in and out of this episode in 20 seconds?

Additional Thoughts:

  • Jim’s voice is becoming progressively more, “Christian Bale as Batman,” and I’m not entirely sure why.
  • Are you telling me I had to spend an hour watching broody Bruce and broody Jim running around Gotham and the suburbs trying to figure out something that Lucius managed to figure out since he actually possesses patience? I think that watching the computer’s search engine work through that algorithm would have been a more interesting 60 minutes.
  • “Do you know who I am?” Yes Bruce, you’re like the youngest billionaire ever. Everyone knows who you are.

What did you think of the latest episode of Gotham? Do you think it’s on the right track or were you hoping to see more of the actual villains of the, “Wrath of the Villains,” at this point? Sound off on Twitter or in the comments below!

About the author

Silje Falck-Pedersen